Univision's Acevedo Allows Former Miami Herald Columnist To Pretend Federal Taxpayers Foot The Bill For Abortions At Planned Parenthood
On Univision's Al Punto, guest host Enrique Acevedo allowed former Miami Herald columnist Helen Aguirre to cite the widely debunked, deceptively edited videos smearing Planned Parenthood to falsely claim that the women's health organization is "selling fetuses" and using federal funding to provide abortion services, despite the fact that it's been unlawful to use federal funds for abortion procedures for nearly 40 years.
Univision's Enrique Acevedo Lets Former Miami Herald Columnist Falsely Claim Planned Parenthood Sells Fetuses And Uses Federal Funding To Provide Abortions
Al Punto's Guest Host Acevedo Allows Former Miami Herald Columnist Aguirre To Falsely Claim Planned Parenthood "Sell[s] Fetuses" And Uses Federal Funding To Provide Abortions. On the August 9 edition of Univision's Al Punto, guest host Enrique Acevedo allowed former Miami Herald columnist Helen Aguirre to cite the widely debunked, deceptively edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood to falsely claim that the women's health organization is "selling fetuses" and that the "majority of funds received by Planned Parenthood go in favor of abortions." Acevedo prevented fellow guests Jennifer Molina and Fabian Nuñez from correcting Aguirre's false claims:
AGUIRRE: Excuse me but, I'm not surprised that Democrats don't think national security is that important because we've seen it in the last seven years that we are in more danger than ever in the Middle East and this deal with Iran demonstrates it clearly, that we have faltered. And so does our policy with Cuba. About reproductive rights, if a woman wants to reproduce, she may do so but, why do we have to pay for abortions? Planned Parenthood is an organization... public funding, federal funding. Planned Parenthood what it does is that it performs abortions and lately, we know very well...
MOLINA: Not only, there are many services.
NUÑEZ: They don't only do abortions, it's also family planning.
AGUIRRE: The majority of the things that Planned Parenthood does --
NUÑEZ: Many young people depend on these services.
ACEVEDO: Let Helen finish.
AGUIRRE: The majority of funds received by Planned Parenthood go in favor of abortions and what we've seen is that about Planned Parenthood five videos have been discovered about them selling fetuses. Look, in a world where we panic because they kill a lion, why don't we panic because they're killing babies? [GOP's]is a pro-life platform. And about immigration reform, Jeb Bush did say that we need to reach legal status for undocumented immigrants, but truly, what's wrong with securing our borders so that people who is still crossing then don't have the opportunity of appealing to what will become a reform and a legal status. Please, that's what we all want!
ACEVEDO: Your argument, what you were saying about Planned Parenthood reminded me of something Marco Rubio wrote in a tweet, and, let's talk about Marco Rubio because for many he was the winner of the first debate among the Republican candidates. [Univision, Al Punto, 8/9/15]
Law Has Prohibited The Use Of Federal Funds For Abortion Services For Nearly 40 Years
FactCheck.org: Planned Parenthood Cannot Use Federal Funding To Provide Abortion Services. In 2011, FactCheck.org pointed out that "Planned Parenthood cannot use the money it receives from the federal government for abortions":
Abortions represent 3 percent of total services provided by Planned Parenthood, and roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion. The group does receive federal funding, but the money cannot be used for abortions by law.
Planned Parenthood's 2008-2009 annual report states that it received $363.2 million in "Government Grants and Contracts." (See page 29.) That's about one-third of its total revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.
However, not all of that money is from the federal government. Planned Parenthood's government funding comes from two sources: the Title X Family Planning Program and Medicaid. About $70 million is Title X funding, Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye told us. The rest -- about $293 million -- is Medicaid funding, which includes both federal and state money.
But Planned Parenthood cannot use the money it receives from the federal government for abortions anyway. According to the Department of Health and Human Service's website, "by law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning." Medicaid funding is restricted by the Hyde Amendment to only abortion cases involving rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the mother. [FactCheck.org, 4/18/11]
Vox: "Planned Parenthood Uses Federal Funds To Cover Reproductive Health Services -- But Not Abortions." Vox noted in a July 22 article that "Title X funds are never available to be used for abortions, even in states where the [state] Medicaid program covers the procedure":
Planned Parenthood uses federal funds to cover reproductive health services -- but not abortions
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have Medicaid programs that will pay for abortions, although those health plans are barred from using federal dollars -- and have to use the state's share of funding to pay for the procedure.
Title X often covers the same type of services as Medicaid, except for women who are not on the public program. One important difference: Title X funds are never available to be used for abortions, even in states where the Medicaid program covers the procedure.
Federal law expressly prohibits the use of Title X funds to pay for abortions -- while abortion providers like Planned Parenthood can qualify for grants, the government requires that no federal dollars go toward the termination of pregnancies. [Vox, 7/22/15]
Planned Parenthood Uses Federal Funding To Provide Essential Health Care For Women
Abortions Make Up Only 3 Percent Of Planned Parenthood's Health Care Services. According to Planned Parenthood's most recent report, abortions made up only 3 percent of the organization's services from October 2012 to September 2013:
[Planned Parenthood, 12/16/14]
One In Five Women Has Relied On Planned Parenthood For Health Care. In July 29 Washington Post op-ed, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, noted that "one in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime":
One in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime. Those women are the victims here. Planned Parenthood patients turn to us not just because they know we uphold the highest medical standards of care but also because we are part of their local community. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. And for many low-income women, Planned Parenthood health centers are their sole source of medical care. Our health centers are lifelines that our country cannot afford to cut. [The Washington Post, 7/29/15]
Planned Parenthood Affiliates Performed Nearly 900,000 Pap Tests And Breast Exams In Fiscal Year 2013. The 2013-2014 Planned Parenthood annual report shows that Planned Parenthood affiliates performed nearly 900,000 pap tests and breast exams from October 2012 - September 2013, enabling over 87,000 women to identify abnormalities or detect cancer early. [Planned Parenthood, 12/16/14]
Female Republican Senator: Planned Parenthood "Is The Primary Provider of Women's Health Services" In Many Places. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she would most likely oppose a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, because they are "the primary provider of women's health services" in many parts of the state she represents:
"The problem is, in my state and many others, Planned Parenthood is the primary provider of women's health services in certain parts of my state, and as I understand the amendment, and again I'm still reviewing it, it immediately defunds Planned Parenthood," Collins said. "So I don't know how you would ensure that all of the patients of Planned Parenthood could be absorbed by alternative care providers." [The Hill, 7/29/15]
The Videos Aguirre Cited Have Been Widely Debunked As Being Deceptively Edited And Show Nothing Illegal
Deceptively Edited Attack Videos Failed To Uncover Evidence That Planned Parenthood Broke The Law. The five deceptively-edited videos released by conservative group Center For Medical Progress (CMP), have not included any evidence of illegal activity on Planned Parenthood's behalf. Instead, the videos feature strategically-edited conversations that merely show that the organization is being reimbursed for costs associated with the consensual procurement of fetal tissue, which federal law allows. [Media Matters, 8/4/15, 7/14/15, 7/21/15, 7/28/15, 7/30/15]
Investigations In Two States Have Cleared Planned Parenthood Of Any Wrongdoing. An investigation by the Indiana State Department of Health found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and "no evidence of any laws being broken." Similarly, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced that they had also "found no evidence" of wrongdoing and noted that the health centers "are fully compliant with state and federal laws." [Media Matters, 7/31/15]